CYA-Zero

Apr 23, 2020
7
Dallas, Texas
Hi all! I live in Central Texas and we have been getting a lot of rain lately, almost as soon as I get the leaves and pollen out of the pool and crystal clear for swimming it rains and I have to start the process over again. As it is late in the summer and temps are cooling off I decided to see if I could begin the closing process before it rains again! According to the weather channel there is no chance of rain until Wed. So I started the cleaning process Sunday (Yesterday) The water was cloudy with a yellow/green layer of pollen on the floor. I used a concentrate liquid to help bind the debris and make it easier to vacuum up. I recirculated for 4 hours and a pile of debris formed in the center of the pool and I vacuumed it up. Pool was still fairly cloudy and still a little yellowish/green. I tested the water before doing anything yesterday and everything was within normal range except the CYA was zero, I tested it again after recirculating and vacuuming and again all within range except CYA zero. I tested again this morning after letting the pool sit overnight and again all readings are good except the CYA. Now I don't have any super fancy test kit I have this Poolmaster Essential Collection Chemistry Case (22260) 5-Way Swimming Pool & Spa Water Test Kit, Small, Neutral , and I also have 7 way test strips that I use daily, then if the readings look off I use the chemistry case above. It has worked for me all summer, no issues with any algae, or weird cloudiness, until the rain started. And again nothing a little time, vacuuming, and sweeping doesn't cure. I also used EasyCare 30064 PoolTec Algaecide, Clarifier and Chlorine Salt Cell Booster, 64 oz. Bottle once a week and again had zero issues. So couple questions, First, would the lack of CYA be causing the cloudy water? Second, since I am in the process of closing the pool do I need to add CYA and bring it back up? I purchased a Chlorine Free Winter Kit from In The Swim along with a liner pillow as we occasionally get light ice accumulation in the winter. I will be using the cover and tie downs provided with the pool by Intex. I would love to get a better cover with cover clips but am finding it very difficult to find many products for my size and model of pool, so I will see how the factory one works this year. My frame has round poles so none of the clips work and the closest to 20ft cover I can find is for a 24ft pool. I purchased a leaf net in a 24ft and it is huge hangs over nearly 3ft all the way around when on my pool.

Sorry for the long post but basically, I have a clean but cloudy pool with a yellowish tinge to it, and all levels are testing fine with the exception of CYA which is at zero. I am fairly confident that I can get the water clear sans chemicals with a few more hours of sweeping, vacuuming, skimming, etc. But need help in pin pointing why my CYA dropped and whether I need to bring it back up for closing.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hello! :wave: I'll get right to your two big question:
1 - Yes, in the sense that with no CYA, your FC is getting burned off very fast by the sun in a matter of minutes leaving nothing to protect or sanitize the water.
2 - Yes, you need a minimum CYA of 30.

Related to both issues ..... you appear to have algae. Cloudy water and signs of any junk collecting, along with no CYA point to that. To kill and remove algae the right way, you need to follow the SLAM Process. To perform the SLAM Process, you need a proper test kit - either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C. See Test Kits Compared It's a must for any pool. The algaecides, clarifiers, and other stuff cost money and will not kill algae. It will return.

So I would recommend first getting one of those test kits. I recommend the TF-100. Validate all of your test levels (post back here for help) and be prepared to perform the SLAM Process. That SLAM page outlines all the requirements. Also be sure to review our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and those links below in my signature. Let us know if you have any questions.
 
Apr 23, 2020
7
Dallas, Texas
Hello! :wave: I'll get right to your two big question:
1 - Yes, in the sense that with no CYA, your FC is getting burned off very fast by the sun in a matter of minutes leaving nothing to protect or sanitize the water.
2 - Yes, you need a minimum CYA of 30.

Related to both issues ..... you appear to have algae. Cloudy water and signs of any junk collecting, along with no CYA point to that. To kill and remove algae the right way, you need to follow the SLAM Process. To perform the SLAM Process, you need a proper test kit - either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C. See Test Kits Compared It's a must for any pool. The algaecides, clarifiers, and other stuff cost money and will not kill algae. It will return.

So I would recommend first getting one of those test kits. I recommend the TF-100. Validate all of your test levels (post back here for help) and be prepared to perform the SLAM Process. That SLAM page outlines all the requirements. Also be sure to review our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and those links below in my signature. Let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you! I added a sock of the granular CYA based on my pool size today to the skimmer basket and went out periodically and massaged it all while the pump was running, set to filter until it all dissolved. I have read on here that I have to wait 3-7 days with pump running continuously 24/7 before testing, is that correct? Also, should I wait to start the SLAM process until the CYA test comes back at least at 30, or can I start that as soon as I have my test kit regardless of the CYA reading? I know you mentioned I may have algae and I will perform the SLAM process only because I don't see the harm in it since I am about to close the pool and would rather be safe than sorry. However, the residue on the pool floor is not slippery, or algae like. It is like a dusting of yellow/green debris. The only reason it collected in the middle is because I used the binder, clarifier to help get it together making vacuuming easier. Also, just curious why without CYA my chlorine levels are still seemingly fine? I know I am not using the TF-100 kit but I have to assume the readings can't be absolute garbage or false, right? My pool has been clear and balanced all summer until we got 4-6 days of heavy rain. Thanks for your help, first timers must be a touch group. :)
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,546
Prosper, TX (DFW)
I'm curious about your closing process as well. Are you really planning on closing your pool? That certainly would not be the norm in the Dallas area, and would really be out of the norm if you are down in Central Texas (Austin/San Antonio).
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Once the stabilizer is all dissolved from the sock, you can assume you've reached your PoolMath CYA target. No need to wait to start the SLAM Process or to the CYA test again. If your goal was a CYA of 30, then lower the pH to 7.2 first (if not there already) and then increase the FC to 12. Easy stuff. As to why numbers seem to okay in some areas and not so good in others? ..... probably the type of test kit has much to do with it. If you get yourself a TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C) for next seasons, you'll see first-hand the difference that testing makes in accuracy.
 
Apr 23, 2020
7
Dallas, Texas
I'm curious about your closing process as well. Are you really planning on closing your pool? That certainly would not be the norm in the Dallas area, and would really be out of the norm if you are down in Central Texas (Austin/San Antonio).
Hi there, yes I am in East Dallas, and don't see any reason to not close my AG pool for the fall-winter. We get way too much rain and I don't plan on swimming in it when it gets colder. Seems like a lot of work to keep it open and waking up every day to leaves, dirt, twigs and dead bugs that need to be fished out. Leaving it open seems to me like I am creating more time for something to go wrong. I am pretty good about getting up first thing skimming, vacuuming, and running the pump but the weather is nice and warm. The winter is another story I don't like the cold and getting wet cleaning the pool wont be nearly as pleasant. If you don't mind me asking how do you go about keeping your pool open? What are the pros and of course cons, I'd love to hear your perspective. I am a first time owner and just thought this is what everyone does. To be clear I am closing not disassembling and storing. I will bring water level below all intake lines and remove the filter but the pool and majority of the water will stay intact. Thanks
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,546
Prosper, TX (DFW)
If you don't mind me asking how do you go about keeping your pool open? What are the pros and of course cons, I'd love to hear your perspective. I am a first time owner and just thought this is what everyone does.
For me, there is little difference in summer vs winter pool maintenance. There is a freeze guard that kicks the pump on when the air temps are freezing so that the pipes do not freeze. Outside of that everything is pretty much the same, I empty the skimmers and test/add chemicals as needed.

Maybe it is a difference between above ground vs in-ground. Does it come with a cover? If so, maybe that is the difference. Good luck with your closing, and TX Splash will get you on the right track with CYA.
 
Apr 23, 2020
7
Dallas, Texas
Yes, I think in ground temps stay warmer than AG which makes the pump use almost silly for AG as the water gets too cold. Yes the pool came with a cover, although I am on the hunt for a better longer life cover. Thanks for sharing!
 
Apr 23, 2020
7
Dallas, Texas
Okay so I have added 3 lbs of shock. 1 pound a day since Monday. Each day the water cleared up except it left a floating green cloud so I shocked it again after sweeping it and vacuuming the entire pool. After the second pound of shock the cloud was smaller but still present so again I swept and vacuumed. Then added the third bag of shock early this morning. The pool is now a cloudy Hazy blue color. I can’t see the floor but I no longer see the dark green cloud either. Now the last bag of shock has not been circulating for 8 hours yet but I only have an 8500 gal pool and each pound of shock treats 12000 gals. Did I over shock and now have a new cloudy mess to clean up? I subscribed to Pool Math and have logged my test results and chemical additions since Monday. Appreciate any insight. I’m hoping it’s just a waiting game now for the FC to drop but it looks like rain is coming in and I hate to have to start all over!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,546
Prosper, TX (DFW)
What test kit do you have and are you following the SLAM process? SLAM is the recommended method here for clearing up a pool, and is typically done via liquid chlorine vs powdered shock.